Great Crested Newt

September 08 2021: Mail from Ian Bushell to the Water Team at water@wiltshirewildlife.org

I read with growing interest your article on the creation of Great Crested Newt ponds.  As a Friend of Southwick Country Park Nature Reserve we are keen to increase the biodiversity within the reserve and believe that a pond we refer to as the Iris Pond would be a prime candidate for this project.  The park is  part of Wiltshire Council assets but is jointly managed and maintained by the Friends and Wilts Countryside Team. 

[1] Great crested newt male [2] Great crested newt larva

In your article you say that ponds eligible for restoration must be:
Overgrown with scrub and/or trees
– Dominated by reed species or with minimal water
– Heavily sedimented
– Located close to suitable terrestrial habitat and within Natural England’s mapped opportunity areas
– Empty of invasive species and large wildfowl or fish populations


New or restored ponds need to be designed to meet the following criteria:
Minimum surface area of 150m²
– Maximum central depth of 1-2.5m
– Hold water at least 1 summer in 3
– Buffer zone of at least 3m with livestock excluded
– Absence of fish

[3] Aerial view of the pond site and [4] yellow iris at the pond site

The Iris Pond is located at Grid  ST 836556 in an old hedge line near the Southwick Allotments and fits perfectly all the requirements you outline. I would be most grateful if perhaps a site visit could be arranged for representatives from yourselves, the Countryside Team and Friends to see if this project could be taken forward.

Ian

September 10 2021: mail from the Water Team at WWT to Ian Bushell.

Thank you Ian for your enquiry about the ponds. We have currently fulfilled our quota for ponds for this year (2021) but we are always looking for new locations for ponds and will consider the location.

Extra consideration will be given to restoring that pond given that we have just received funding as part of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund for river restoration and wetland creation through Southwick Country Park. We plan to deliver this project next year, by which time we will hopefully have more allocation for GCN ponds so may be able to restore the pond then for the greater benefit of freshwater and wetland species in the area.

Some of the reserve’s freshwater and wetland species: [5] common frog [6] kingfisher [7] white clawed crayfish [8] snake’s head fritillary

To discuss our plans for to the Lambrok and Southwick Country Park further, a site meeting with members of the Friends group and Countryside Team would certainly be beneficial. Hope to hear from you all soon and I look forward to discussing these exciting plans.

All the best,
Connor
Water Team Projects Officer: ConnorG@wiltshirewildlife.org

To be continued!

Header image: Great crested newts male and female by Bouke ten Cate (CC BY-SA 4.0) wikimedia commons

6 thoughts on “

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  1. I am passing your post on to Palmer Gardens in Trowbridge. They have a very old and very overgrown pond in their wild garden behind the garden centre. The sign says great crested newts are living there but it is now so full of bull rushes that you can’t see the water!

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